Kansas State University specialist says there are flowers that rabbits don’t like.
MANHATTAN, Kan. – It happens way too often – we tuck those tender flowers into our landscapes and wake up to find they’ve turned into rabbit food overnight. Something to keep in mind as we’re planning for spring planting, however, is that there are certain flowers that rabbits typically don’t eat.
Rabbit-proof fencing can be an effective control, but may be too unattractive for some uses, said Ward Upham, horticulture rapid response coordinator at Kansas State University. In such cases, using plants that are less likely to be attractive to rabbits can be helpful.
“These plants are resistant, but not immune to attack,” said Upham, who is also the coordinator of the K-State Research and Extension Master Gardener program. Young plants or those that are succulent due to overfertilization are more likely to be damaged, he said. A lack of other food sources also can result in rabbits feeding on plants that are normally rejected.
One good source of information is a University of Arizona publication, Upham said, which has a list of flowers considered resistant to feeding damage by rabbits, including: artmesia, aster, bee balm, begonia, blanket flower, bleeding heart, candytuft, columbine coreopsis, crocus, daffodil, dahlia, daylily, ferns, gloriosa daisy, herbs (except basil), iris, lamb’s ears, pincushion flower, red hot poker, surprise lily, sweet violet, verbena and yarrow.
The Arizona publication, “Deer and Rabbit Resistant Plants,”, also includes trees, shrubs, groundcovers and vines.